Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 33

Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 33



and often include etched gradations for better readability.

We tested each tool to determine if it was square with the standard head, and again with the protractor head set to 90°. To determine the smoothness of operation and reliability, we moved the blade 100 times through the head. We then checked the tool again for squareness.

Low-Angle Block Planes

The type of block plane we prefer in the Popular Woodworking shop is a low-angle block plane. With the blade set at 12° to the sole rather than 20°, these planes slice cleanly through figured and dense woods. Though low-angle block planes were designed originally for cutting end grain, they're capable of much more.

Here's what you need to know:

• Sole flatness: When you buy any plane, you should flatten the sole so your cuts are more smooth and precise. In general, the more expensive the plane, the less flattening you will have to do.

• Adjustable throat: All the planes in our test have an adjustable throat — the throat is the space between the blade and the shoe in front of the blade. This feature is critical to low-angle block planes because a

small throat opening can prevent tear-out in tricky woods, and a large throat opening can help you hog off material in a hurry.

• Lateral adjustment: This lever allows you to twist the blade left or right a bit to square it up to the throat. Is this a good thing? That depends on you. If you are a meticulous sharpener, and you can grind the edge of the blade square to the sides, then lateral adjustment isn't for you. If you're a little sloppy, lateral adjustment will help you compensate for your less-than-perfect edge.

• Blade adjustment: Note how much you have to turn the blade-adjustment knob before the blade moves. Less idle spinning is better. Also, see how much the blade moves with each turn of the knob. We prefer finer adjustment because the difference between a perfect shaving and a torn up piece of wood is a tiny movement of the blade.

• Blade thickness: The thicker the blade, the less chatter you'll get. Inexpensive planes have irons that are just over 5/64n thick (.08"). More expensive planes have blades that are about 1/8" (.125") thick. Aftermarket blades, such as those from Hock and Lee Valley, weigh in at a beefy 3/32" (.094") thick. PW

occasional user

• Starrett combination square, When you're just starting out, buy just the standard head and the blade.

• Record 601/2 low-angle block plane,

This reasonably priced English-made tool is a good first plane.

• Stanley 16-180 chisels, An inexpensive set that's good for small hands.

• Craftsman 36857 chisels, These tough chisels feel good in larger hands.

• Marples Blue Chip chisels,

Inexpensive, tough and versatile chisels that are great for everyone. These are a shop favorite here.

serious home woodworker

• Starrett C434-12-R, The center-finding head and protractor head in this set are useful and dead-on accurate.

• Veritas 05P22.01 block plane, This is a well-made plane and an excellent design. Perfect for end-grain jobs.

• Marples Blue Chip chisels, See our

comments above.

• Ashley Isles chisels, One of the most comfortable and durable chisels out there today.

advanced woodworker or professional user

• Starrett C434-12-R

• Lie-Nielsen 6OV2 plane, Quite simply the best that money can buy, and well worth it.

• Two Cherries/Hirsch chisels

• ECE chisels

• Marples Blue Chip chisels

These tools have been tested or used by

the editors of Popular Woodworking

and have earned their recommendation.

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